I think I am a shy mum. I say ‘shy mum’ like it’s a real thing because I don’t ever recall being this shy in social situations before I was a mum. Sure I’m not ever going to be up there on a stage in a play or anything but I don’t ever remember being so unsure of myself it made me somewhat introverted.
I don’t have a lot of friends but I know a lot of people. I know people well enough to say a passing ‘hello, how are you?’ in the street but it doesn’t often go beyond that, especially with other mums. I’m that mum that sits in the corner at kindy pick up or chats to that one other mum I know and that’s all. I’m sure I come across as snobby, stand offish and maybe even rude. I promise I’m not. I just don’t know how to go about talking to you. The groups of mums at kindy and school remind me of highschool cliques, where I’m on the outside and not too sure how to break in.
I strike up a conversation or someone starts speaking to me, we chat a while, we agree we should have a play date, for the kids of course! We meet up, the kids play, we drink coffee and that’s it. We may say hello again at kindy or school pickup/drop off, one of us will say ‘we should have another play date’ but we won’t. Why is it so hard for me to forge a relationship with a fellow mother? Why does adding Motherhood to the mix change it all?
I’ve had some great Mum friendships. I’ve thrown baby showers for friends, I’ve baby sat their children and entrusted them with mine and then it all stops. I keep putting myself out there like I know I should but almost all my mum friendships seem to fizzle out. I’m not saying I don’t realise how busy other mums are but as soon as I stop inviting people for coffee etc it’s all over. Are all mum’s just like me and struggling with this sudden onset of shyness?
Being a mum can be a lonely job sometimes especially those early days at home with a new born. I thought once my girls were at kindy and school I was sure to find some mum friends I’d click with. I tried a coffee group when Miss was a baby only to leave in tears because I was so much younger than the other mums and felt completely out of my depth. I am not going to lie, in those days Facebook was my saviour. Facebook is still my saviour. Mums seem easier to talk to on those Facebook groups, hide behind a screen and we are all friends’ right? Is it because of the screen that we are now intimidated by the face to face contact of real life friendship?
I say at the beginning I am a shy mum but I can assure you that once you get to know me I am not. I guess you just need to get to know me. I promise I can be a great friend; I can even be quite funny and entertaining when I want to be. I won’t compare our children, I won’t tell you mine have always slept straight through, if you parent differently to me I won’t judge you and may even pick up some tips, I will help you out when you would rather give your kids away than deal with them and I will learn your favourite wine and keep it handy.
I’m really not sure why I find this mum friendship thing so hard, I have had many conversations with the couple of mum friends I do have and we all seem to come to the conclusion that perhaps we are all just shy mums?